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  1. 5 points
    Trip: Mt. Hood - Infinity Loop Trip Date: 06/21/2019 Trip Report: After a hard day and a half in the mountains, I'm stoked to report the Mt. Hood infinity loop goes! The past few weeks I was busy with graduation stuff and couldn't get on the mountain. Finally, on the 20th, the weather looked alright and I decided to head up to attempt the loop. My plan was to climb up Cooper Spur, run half of the Timberline trail, climb Cooper Spur again, and then run the other half of the Timberline trail. Knowing how much gear I needed, I cached some food, water, and clothes by Timberline Lodge before I started up. The rest of the supplies I would hike up with and stash at Cloud Cap Campground. At around 4 or so I arrived at the trail head to go to Cloud Cap Campground. The gate was still closed so I hiked up the trail to camp in about an hour and half. The weather was pretty nice despite some wind and clouds surrounding the summit of the mountain. I was all alone at camp which is always welcome. After eating some dehydrated pad thai, I was asleep before the sun set. The beautiful approach hike 4 am rolls around and my alarm goes off. I throw some food in my small pack and head up trail. Everything is going pretty good until I start the switchbacking up to the route. Visibility could have been better, the wind was howling, and I was pretty cold. The tee shirt plus R1 was probably not the best clothing choice for the conditions that day. When I got to tie in rock, I hid behind it and warmed up for a few minutes. Having never been on Cooper Spur before, I was surprised at the type of climbing. The first few thousand feet were basically a moderately steep snow slope, however, the last 600 or so involved thin ice climbing, mixed moves, and lots of exposed rock. I was glad I decided to bring 2 tools. After about 3 and a half hours I was on the summit. There still wasn't any visibility but the wind was gone. I cruised down the old chute and was at Timberline by the early afternoon. Part of the trail up Summit selfie When I got to my cache, I put on running shorts, ditched the boots, crampons, and stocked up on more GU and water. I decided to take the west side of the Timberline Trail first, the west side was longer and would provide less down time before the second summit. The first few miles of the trail were pretty snowy but after Paradise Park it was largely dry. It was pretty wet and fog obscured any scenic view. I think I made it to camp around 7 pm that night, the first climb slowed down my pace on the trail significantly. At camp, I was no longer alone. Apparently the gate opened that day! I was stoked because I could hitch a ride down after my trip instead of hiking back out. After eating some apples and changing into climbing stuff again, I was off on the second lap. This time conditions were absolutely perfect. Clear skies and no wind allowed me to enjoy the stars and see the lights of the city. That view will never get old. This time it took me about 6 hours to reach the summit. I took liberal breaks because I didn't want to be tired for the mixed section. At 2:30, I was on the summit for the second time in 24 hours. It was quiet, clear, and very enjoyable. This time, the descent was harder. The hard snow put a number on my knees during the descent. At this point, the lack of sleep was catching up to me. Cool rock I saw The stunning, but haunted Ramona Falls Creek crossing with huge carin Enjoying better conditions later in the day When I made it back down to Timberline, I had 16 more miles to go. My legs felt surprisingly fresh when I headed out. The first 6 miles or so were cruiser, however, intermittent snow slowed me down on the last little bit. I made it back to the parking lot after 32 hours, 28 minutes, and 8 seconds. This trip was one of my favorites in recent memory. I hope the infinity loop catches on on Mt. Hood. I would love to see some hardmen knock down the time. In total it was 56.65 miles and 20,445 feet of elevation gain. Get after it Gear Notes: Tee shirt and R1 Approach Notes: Road to Cloud Cap is now open
  2. 3 points
    Trip: Mt Adams - Adams Glacier Headwall "Ice Extension" (IV, AI3+, 55 deg snow) Trip Date: 06/09/2019 Trip Report: @nkimmes and I climbed a variation of the Adams Glacier Headwall "Ice Extension" June 8-9. First ascent by @wayne and @YocumRidge July 4, 2011. Approach was straightforward from Killen Creek TH. Open air bivy at 7,000'. Minor glacier travel with little to no crevasse danger to base of the route. A long, moderate snow slope began at about 9000'. Some rock and ice fall as the sun hit the cliffs on the upper headwall. We solo'd a short WI2 pitch on the left side of the lowest cliff band at 10,400'. The WI3+ pitch began at just below 11,000'. In this case it climbed in one 60m pitch to the upper snow slope. Ice was a bit thin in spot but took 10 and 13cm screws well. From there we ascended a bit more to the rime at the base of the upper cliffs. We checked for an exit to the right but this is a no go. As mentioned in the FA report, the traverse to the left is sketchy with hardly any pro (hollow screws and some makeshift rimy/snow horns that I chopped out and slung). Unfortunately, the AI4 pitch in the left corner looked nothing like 2011, and was mostly rotten rock. Instead, we opted to traverse all the way left to the spine which divides the headwall from the next snow ramp over. We solo'd this to 11,800'. From there it's a long flat slog to the summit. We had initially planned a ski descent of the nf of the nw ridge. However, we watched another skier drop in and climb back up after about 1,000'. He joined us on the summit to report that it was completely bulletproof. We opted for plan b and found cruiser corn all the way down the north ridge to our bivy. 13 hours camp to camp. View of Rainier from the bivy. Ascent in red. Descent in blue. Solo'ing the WI2 pitch. Approaching the base of the WI3+ pitch. First moves of the pitch. Noah following the ice pitch. Route zoomed in. We actually stayed more left on the snow slope. Sketchy traverse. Summit! S Noah on the ski descent. Gear Notes: 2x10cm, 4x13cm & 1x17cm ice screws; 2-3 pickets Approach Notes: Approached from Killen Creek TH.
  3. 3 points
    Trip: Colchuck Balanced Rock - West Face Trip Date: 06/23/2019 Trip Report: Some people use the solstice for really long days from sunrise to sunset, getting in as much adventure as possible. We used it to sleep in and still get in a full day of awesome climbing. Leaving the trailhead at 9am we made quick work of the hike up to the lake. From there it was uncharted terrain for the both of us. The climbers trail was way easier to follow than we expected, very well cairned and worn down. The wall looking very very good Two guys crushing Let it Burn. They looked very cool from our route. Such a cool looking route! The corner had one serious wet patch that thwarted my OS. Not bad at all though. I got very cold at the belay under the corner, making for some numb tips on the traverse. Sean about to onsight the freaking crux! Unfortunately I got no photos of the chimney. I thought it was fun. Sean did not. The descent to the base was pretty cruiser. About 50/50 kitty litter to snow. A fall on the snow could be pretty bad if you don't stop but definitely not worth bringing an axe on route, just be careful. There are currently no bugs at the base or on route. Overall the route is in great condition. Only one small wet patch up near the top of P4 and the only fixed gear is the nuts and pins at the top of P4. I cleaned a fixed nut out of the crux thinking my partner had placed it. It came out very easily. Our time came in around 11.5 hours C2C giving us enough time to go get some dinner in town. Gear Notes: Double rack .1-2 single 3&4. A bunch of slings and a single rack of nuts, mostly small. There is no longer a fixed piece at the crux. Sorry. Approach Notes: All snow free and in good condition.
  4. 3 points
    Trip: Bolivia - Cordillera Real - Pequeño Alpamayo, Cabeza de Condor, Huayna Potosí, Illampu, and Illimani Trip Date: 05/26/2019 Trip Report: I just returned from a 3-week climbing trip to Bolvia and figured some folks here would be interested in hearing about the climbing down there. We stayed mostly healthy, had perfect weather and conditions, and the logistics went smoothly, which made it possible to pack in a lot of climbs: May 26 - Arrive in La Paz May 28 - Pequeño Alpamayo (17,618') - West-Southwest Ridge (III, AD) May 30 - Cabeza de Condor (18,530') - Southwest Ridge (III, AD+) June 2 - Huayna Potosí (19,974') - French Direct Route (III, AD+) June 6 - Illampu (20,892') - Northwest Headwall to Southwest Ridge (III, AD/AD+) June 12 - Illimani (21,125') - West Spur / Normal Route (II, PD) June 15 - Depart La Paz My partner and I had previously done similar trips together to Patagonia and Peru, so we felt comfortable designing our own itinerary and climbing alone without guides. I'd recommend this for experienced climbers who appreciate a "faster and lighter" mentality (and only if you have at least one person who can speak enough Spanish to get by). We bought Yossi Brain's 1999 Bolivia Climbing Guide and found enough beta online as well. We did a healthy amount of Google Earth scanning to identify camps and approach trails too. In my trip reports linked above, I've included Strava links with our GPS tracks to save others some trouble (just ignore if you want more suspense : ). In terms of logistics, we flew into La Paz, which is crazy city of nearly a million people in a valley with another million or so on the sprawling altiplano called El Alto. The city is an interesting experience in contrasts, with everything from folks living in dirt-floored huts to a shiny cable car system. La Paz is about 12,000' depending on where you stay and El Alto is about 14,000'. We opted to rent an Airbnb in La Paz for the whole trip as a basecamp (at ~$30/night, this was pretty economical). We started in La Paz for 3 days / 2 nights to acclimate before our first objective, which we deliberately chose to be one of the shorter peaks (Pequeño Alpamayo at 17,618'). This worked well for us. We slowly ratcheted up the elevation over the course of the trip and never felt worse than headaches and throwing up breakfast once. You can hop into the links above to hear more about our experiences and the routes. I've put a few pictures in here to whet your appetite! - Jeff Gear Notes: We brought 5 pickets, 8 ice screws, some nuts, and some pins, just in case. We ended up placing pickets only once or twice on the trip and simul-climbed or simul-soloed almost all of the terrain. Approach Notes: See each trip report for some details on how we got there and a GPS track.
  5. 2 points
    Trip: Royally Smooting - North Ridge of Clark, Deception, from Royal Basin Trip Date: 06/15/2019 Trip Report: Who else out there is working through the Smoot book? C'mon, it's OK to admit it, Jeff came up with a great list of peaks that will get you to the corners of the Cacades and the Olympics. Take Royal Basin, for example. I wouldn't have thought of dealing with the hassle of ferries, permits, and bear cans if it weren't for that long out of print tome. And, I would have missed out on a great adventure with @ZakG. I'm continually reminded that there is a lot to recommend in that book. If you do go Royally Smooting though, you may not want to haul all the gear necessary to climb the North Ridge of Clark (as recommended by Smoot). While supposedly the "best" climb in the Needles, Zak and I thought that it wasn't THAT classic. The regular scramble route is interesting enough and easily passable with no rope, harness, or pro. On Deception, you'll want enough snow to cover the amazing amount of loose rock that this peak is known for. Shoot for when Royal Lake is snow free but the upper basin is still snowed in....like we did. It was just about as good of conditions as you could ask for. Captions refer to the photos below...... You know you're hiking in the Olympics in the spring when you see rhododendrons on the trail: Shelter Rock is aptly named: First look at the Needles, Johnson and the Sundial (L-R): Hiking up to Clark with Deception behind: Clark. The North Ridge is the right skyline: Mount Johnson: Leading up the North ridge of Clark. Lots of lichen and mediocre rock. Good, I guess, for the Olympics: Summit views from Clark looking across Royal Basin to Warrior, Constance, Inner Constance, Stone(?), Mystery, and Deception (L-R): Descending Clark, don't go this way. Up and right from where the photographer is instead: The regular route on Clark is impressive and actually pretty pleasant, despite appearances: Mount Mystery: Gray crested rosy finch, lord of the high alpine: Heading up the regular route on Deception with Johnson behind: Gilhooley Tower: Last look at Deception leaving upper Royal Basin: The classic finish to an Olympics trip. Waiting for the ferry at Kingston: Gear Notes: Light 40m rope, small rack of nuts and tri cams, helmet, crampons, ice axe. Approach Notes: Royal Basin, the permit is key. Go early in the season before they allow for advance reservations. We had no problems securing one, although we started on a Thursday and finished on a Saturday.
  6. 2 points
    Trip: Mt Hood - Cathedral Ridge (via bike approach) Trip Date: 06/22/2019 Trip Report: Ever since I encountered this excellent-looking bike ride on the interwebs, I've been scheming to combo it with a climb of Hood. http://bestrides.org/lolo-pass-back-road/ I left the town of Zigzag (at a painfully low 1500 ft elevation) on my bike at 4:30am, and began the ascent up to the trailhead via FR 1828. The pitch was quite reasonable, I was worried about the bike ride with all my gear, but after popping it in my lowest gear I was able to putter up without too much effort. I reached the trailhead around 6am and began the hike up Timberline trail. Pretty fantastic misty-light-through-trees action on the way up. I downloaded a trip report of Cathedral Ridge onto my phone, but hadn't started reading it until I got up to McNeil shelter. The TR made it seem quite convoluted and exciting, which gave me a bit of pause since I was just going up solo in my approach shoes. The route turned out to be quite straightforward though. Between 7400 and 8800 it stays more climber's left of the ridge, and ducks right of the ridge around a big cliffband at 9200. At least the way I did it. I took crampons on & off a few times when nice snow slopes appeared, but I encountered nothing steeper than 40 degrees. And it probably goes without saying, but the rock was pretty shitty and loose. I summitted around 11am, and saw my first humans of the day. Largely uneventful on the descent, other than a few exhilarating glissade runs. The road surface on FR 1828 was a bit iffy, so I instead descended East Lolo Pass Rd, which just consisted of open straightaways at relatively mellow grades. I was really psyched on this trip! Really cool part of the mountain, although this was my first time up Hood so I can't really compare. Route: Gear Notes: Ice axe, crampons, bike Approach Notes: Zigzag --> Timberline trail
  7. 1 point
  8. 1 point
    No problem. Happy to help. I think we nailed the season. The snow was stable and firm, the guide companies had been sending clients up on most peaks already, and the weather was great—dry pretty much the whole time. Three weeks actually bordered on too much for us. After two weeks, we'd climbed everything on our initial three-week itinerary and we even considered flying home early or heading to another destination, but decided to just do one more peak. This was partly due to weather, conditions, and logistics all working out really well for us. My three-week trip to Patagonia felt too short due to difficult weather. Two-and-a-half weeks in Peru was also bordering on too short, given getting sick there. So three weeks is a good duration if you can swing it to buffer for the unexpected. We left Bolivia feeling like there wasn't much unfinished business. Other options for us were the West Face of Huayna Potosi and the Grand Traverse of Illimani. We would have done the latter if we'd been a bit more healthy and confident at the end of the trip. We considered Chachacomani, but it didn't sound terribly interesting. Ancohuma was a similar story. Sajama didn't sound interesting to us at all. I think Peru might have an edge if you're choosing between the two for a first trip: Huaraz is more of a mountain town with a scene focused on climbing, there are more route and peak options, and the climbing can be more technical (but there are easier options as well). La Paz is a big city and the peaks are generally less technical. Transportation is similar. Some approaches in Peru are bigger and make more sense to do with support (donkey drivers, etc.), which is an interesting experience. We did like the faster and lighter approach in Bolivia having experienced both, though. It's pretty cheap in both countries once you're there. I believe Bolivia has the edge on cheapness. We didn't hire a guide in either place, but we heard that Peru has "European rates" while Bolivia was surprisingly cheap for guides, porters, donkey drivers, and cooks from what we heard. Hotels were easily bookable online for both places in advance and costs were pretty reasonable. Bolivia was downright cheap. We found it was worth spending a bit more in Huaraz—our first hotel smelled like sewage and had a lot of street noise. Basic supplies where cheap in both places. For example, we bought standard butane fuel for our stove at 20 Bolivianos per canister in La Paz ($2.90). There are normal grocery stores in La Paz with staples. Huaraz had some smaller ones and you could buy things like oats, dried fruit, salami, etc. in the markets. Taxis worked in both places and were pretty reasonable (3-hour drive from Illimani was 450 Bolivianos / $65) and some transportation made sense to do in Collectivos in both places, which are dirt cheap. Looking forward to hearing about your adventure down there. - Jeff
  9. 1 point
    Thanks for the info! I have a few more questions: Did you feel like you scheduled your trip for the optimal time? In retrospect would you have planned an earlier or later trip in the season? Did three weeks feel rushed for acclimatization, travel, and all the peaks you climbined? If you had an additional week in Bolovia are other peaks you would have liked to climb in the Cordillera Real? For an Andes newbie, (but no stranger to big, cold peaks), would you recommend Peru or Bolivia for a first trip? Can you comment on the relative expense, booking accommodations, obtaining basic supplies (stove fuel, food), and transportation to the mountains between the two countries? Thanks, DPS
  10. 1 point
    Trip: Eldorado Peak and Dorado Needle - E Ridge and NW Ridge Trip Date: 06/16/2019 Trip Report: Conditions are quite good in the Eldorado area right now. We made a casual ascent of Eldorado on our approach day and climbed the NW Ridge of Dorado Needle on Sunday. The climbing was easy but damn... that descent to the car was pretty punishing. Full trip report and photos: Spokalpine Gear Notes: Crampons/Axe for Eldorado. Light rock rack for Dorado Needle. Approach Notes: Wear a knee brace
  11. 1 point
    Based on your requirements, I'd rule out just about anyplace west of the Cascades for an infinity of reasons. Focus on Leavenworth/Mazama. If you are willing to live up to 30 minutes away you may find that rates are a bit more reasonable. Probably not much of a singles scene in Chumstick or Cashmere, but life's all about tradeoffs. Also - if you are mostly into rock climbing, then Walla Walla is worth a look. Between the wine scene and the presence of a small liberal arts college, it punches above its weight culturally for a town its size, has reasonable access to crags, is right next to the blue mountains, etc. There's a geology professor at Whitman named Kevin Pogue who's been active for decades that could give you a pretty good rundown on what it's like to live there.
  12. 1 point
    Hey all, I'm volunteering on a week-long backpacking trip with youth this summer through Big City Mountaineers, and thought maybe some of you would be interested in going on one of their trips. Feel free to pass along this information to others you think may be interested! Spoiler alert: there is no mountaineering. Just backpacking. Here is the email I got from the volunteer coordinator: * * * * Greetings PNW Friends and Big City Mountaineers Supporters, I am emailing you because I am still in need of 6 more male volunteers, and 1 female volunteer for our Big City Mountaineers trips this summer. Our volunteer mentors are integral to our mission and to a successful trip, and if you have given your time before on a BCM trip, or already plan to volunteer this summer, I want to express my deepest gratitude! Below are the dates of the trips and the associated youth agencies that still need volunteers. If you think you may be interested in making an expedition fit into your summer this year, please email me and we can start the process to registering you on a trip. If you know others who would be impactful mentors and willing to give a week to this experience, please pass this email and my contact information along. Portland-based Trips: POIC—Rosemary Anderson High School June 25-July 1 Male trip: need 1 volunteer Female trip: waitlist Ant Farm July 11-17 Male trip: waitlist Female trip: need 1 volunteer Police Activities League July 16-23 Male trip: need 1 volunteer Female trip: waitlist Seattle-Based Trips: Seattle Nativity School Juy 21-July 27 Male trip: need 2 volunteers Female trip: waitlist Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue July 30-August 5 Male trip: need 2 volunteers Female trip: waitlist Volunteer Training: June 1, 2019 in Portland, Oregon * it is very important to attend this training, but if you cannot, and would still like to volunteer on a trip, please reach out to me regardless and we can work something out. Below are the steps to volunteering on a Big City Mountaineers trip if you have not before: Here is a link to a presentation that will give you more of an understanding of Big City Mountaineers and the experience as a mentor. I have also attached the Mentor Position Description. For more clarification and details please call me (phone number below), and I’ll be happy to talk to you more about the volunteer experience. If, after watching the presentation and reading the description, you feel like this is an experience for you: • Submit an application through this link: https://formstack.io/59DD8 o At that time I will reach out to you to set up an informal phone interview o I’ll check your reference, and get you set up with an expedition date • Submit a registration and $150 volunteer fee (to help cover expedition costs) • complete the background check • Get stoked! This is truly a wonderful experience spent with inspiring youth and like-minded adults! Participate in a Volunteer Training June 1st, at the Mazamas in Portland, Oregon Thank you so much for your support and for passing this along to people you feel are—or could be-- passionate mentors! Sincerely, Anne Hayward anne@bigcitymountaineers.org * * * * Alisse
  13. 1 point
    This is one of my favorite of the summer (new to me at least)!
  14. 1 point
    Trip: Johannesburg Mountain and Cascade Peak - CJ Couloir to East Ridge and NW Chimney Date: 7/27/2013 Trip Report: I've really been in touch with the telepathic climbing universe lately. A coupla weeks ago I thought, "Man I should get up that Adams Glacier." Ten minutes later I get an email from a friend asking me to go do it. On that trip I started thinking about what I wanted to climb next. Nothing really is calling to me at the moment...except motherfuckin' J-BURG!! As soon as I get back into cell range I receive a message from Brad, the best climber I know, tapping me to join him for a Johannesburg. Um, hell yes!!?!? It's ON! I get my friend Jeremy on board so we can justify bringing doubles for longer raps and the trio is set. Since Brad is an overachiever he also wants to bag Cascade Peak the same weekend. What is Cascade Peak, you ask? I didn't know either. It's the mountain on the other side of the C-J Couloir, the 'C' if you will. Brad scoped it out on his first JBurg attempt and Beckey claims there is a '5.8 NW Chimney' route. Photo from my friend Derek who was up on Forbidden the same weekend. That is tiny Cascade Peak to the left of the CJ Couloir. We followed the east ridgeline of JBurg to the summit. Just because you're so lucky as to climb with the best climber you know, don't assume that means he's going to drag you up everything. It could be quite the opposite, where instead you solo everything, because he simply can't imagine why anyone would need pro right there. I got to sample both sides of the coin this trip! Drive up Friday night. Get to Cascade Pass TH, pass out on the ground in the picnic area with everyone else. There is a group exodus at 4 AMish. Everyone else is doing Sahale. We tell them we're doing Johannesburg. They peer up at the massive 5000' menacing face, then look back at us with a tiny bit of awe but mostly horror. Maybe pity. Classic pleasant climbs with good clean lines and good pro are wonderful but there is something compelling about hideous gnarly choss piles that scream extreme alpine adventure. Brad chugs a 5-hour energy shot which kind of annoys me because he's goddamn too fast as it is already, I do not need anymore disadvantages! The best thing about Johannesburg is that it has zero approach! You walk 1/4 mile down the road, then at the hairpin turn clamber down 30', cross the stream (which can be raging early season, but was nothing for us), bushwhack 15 minutes and you're at the base of the C-J Couloir. 3400' above it is the col, our bivy spot. We start two-tooling upward. The Becky book says 5 hours to the col, Brad says we'll do it in 3. I laughed, but we actually did do it in three, once Brad takes the rope from me after the first 1000'. The couloir gets a bad rap it doesn't deserve. It's quite scenic, not that steep till the last few hundred feet, and for the most part is pretty wide, not this death funnel of rock and ice fall that everyone assumes it is. There is a silly patch of easily avoidable ice which the boys climb through for shits and giggles and to break up the monotony. We reach the col and there is a beautiful bivy spot there perfect for 3 people. I'm glad we didn't take a team of 4 because that would have not worked! We take an hour to drop bivy gear and melt snow and then it is time to tackle J-Burg via its East Ridge. Not-so-harrowing stream crossing. We should be teddy bears and this scene should be imprinted on a Hallmark greeting card or perhaps an old lady sweatshirt. CJ Couloir = 3 hours of endless two-toolin' We cross the snow up a finger to the '5.2 white staircase'. It's granite, and the most solid thing we get to climb. Brad calls out to 'let him know if anyone wants a belay.' I can see already see that simul-climbing isn't going to be a viable option. Good spots for pro are few and far between, and there is so much loose choss that a rope would just knock more shit down on top of us. No matter, time to man up and simply trust in my abilites. I was quite late getting into the roped technical vertical world, choosing to instead scramble up easy scary stuff my early climbing career, so I should be a pro at this, right?! We traverse north across 'heather benches', a bit unnerving because I don't know how well I can trust the veggie belay of a handful of heather. It seems pretty strong...but it's kinda small...and just a plant. Up another 4th class gulley with a few exposed puckering moves to another loose awful gulley and we're on the false summit! Time for some ridge running, the real summit looks awfully far away. We get down on ledges on the southside down from the crest and damn the exposure is huge. After endless precarious clinging to the side of the moutain we turn up a pinnacle and we're on the summit! Topping out of the white staircase: 4th classin' it, Cascade Peak in the background: Ridge running! It's choose your own adventure. I choose the easiest least scary way, Jeremy chooses whatever he sees first. Brad being...Brad. We carried up crampons and ice axe but never needed them, fyi. Summit at 12:30. 7.5 hours after leaving the car and a stop to brew up at that. I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAVE BAGGED THE ALMIGHTY J-BURG!! I remember climbing Forbidden West Ridge as a n00b and being so in awe of Johannesburg, not even daring to be so pretentious as to think I would ever climb it. I happily open the summit register like it's Christmas morning and delight in the fact that there are only a handful of signatures since 2006, and we're only the second ascent of the year. ERMAHGERD WE JUST CLIMBED JERHANNESBERG!!! The downclimb back to the col took us a coupla hours longer than the ascent. There is a lot of downclimbing traversing but all the steep gullies have rap stations. You rap below the heather benches directly onto the col rather than going back down the white staircase. We're back to the bivy site at 6:30. I left the bivy bourbon in the car cuz the container is leaking and I hate myself for it. Luckily Jeremy has some sweet bluegrass on his phone to play and make it feel more homey. We melt snow and our brand new steri pen stops working randomly so we give up and brave the red death. I keep looking over at the Fred Beckey '5.8 NW chimney' route on Cascade Peak. It looks GNARLY. Does Brad really want to climb that tomorrow? Is he really going to make us climb that? Hmm there are three of us. I could bail and sleep in. I joke about bailing but then Jeremy says HE was thinking about bailing. Nope, we're in this bitch together. Mt. Formidable makes a great alternate to a tv set. I think he may be my next crush... We're in bed at 9. Jeremy slept good but a rodent tore up the zipper on the brain to his pack and ate half of his bagel. I froze to death because I'm a tiny girl yet I keep trying to be an ultra light crusher by bringing only a 45 deg bag everywhere. Brad's neo-air popped in the middle of the night, prob because we were on a slope and slipped down into the rocks. Which is good, that will make him angrier and therefore better at leading us up Cascade Peak. Morning arrives and I try not to move, not wanting to wake Brad, hoping he will decide to sleep in and not to climb Cascade Peak. Brad doesn't make us get up till 7:30 (10.5 hours of sleep on an alpine climb, when does that happen!!) and we head over to the base of what Brad thinks is the route in the moat around 9. Brad, shoes wet and cold from the snow, fingers also cold from the snow, starts off on what we think is the first pitch, Becky 5.8. His rack consists of 7-8 nuts and some slings. It's a horribly broken, loose 5-6" crack. Brad climbs 5.12 trad and he's working hard for this pitch so I know it ain't no 5.8. I think he places 2 nuts total. I have to give it everything I got to follow, I call it 5.10. Jeremy calls it 5.9+ or 'Beckey 5.9'. The next pitch I think we are back on route, a somewhat aesthetic 'Beckey 5.8' chimney. Of course Brad has to lead it with no pro as we didn't bring a big bro. I don't get to chimney very often so this was pretty fun! Jeremy is carrying the pack so his life sucks even though he hangs it from his belay loop hahahaa. The last roped pitch should be easy but is completely horribly loose so we're required to use thinner solid holds. We simulclimb from the false summit and reach the summit. No summit register here! In fact, I see no signs of humans anywhere. No rap slings no pitons no nothing. Are we the first ascent in decades?? We make all of our rap stations and rap back down the route. Brad on the heinous first pitch. Perhaps it is an FA? Probably an LA too. No good photo of the kewl 5.8 chimney, but here's Brad on the third pitch: SUMMIT! I would love to hear from anyone else who has climbed Cascade Peak. We're back at the col at 4:30 PM. I do not relish downclimbing the couloir. 3400' of two-toolin face-in downclimbing sounds like hell to me. We did see some huge rockfall/icefalls off JBurg although they stopped on the Sill glacier and never entered the couloir. It's late in the day, the snow is slushy. Every other TR recommends something called 'Doug's Direct'. I must wheedle and cajole Brad into doing this descent, as he was super excited to be so close to the car. I claim I have 'used up all of my mental bravery and would just like a nice easy way back to the car even if it's long.' Brad relents, and that my friends is where I get PUNISHED for being a PUSSY. Who is Doug? EFF YOU DOUG! Doug will tell you a good way to get to Seattle from Portland is through Los Angeles! This descent should NOT be listed as a possible descent at all. The only option is the couloir. After the circuitous unpleasant not any safer 'Doug's Direct' I realized the couloir isn't bad at all. I would rather die in the CJ couloir than do Doug's Direct again. Endless heather sidehilling, up 1000' through 3rd-4th class rock mixed with heather, sketchy 3rd class downclimb on the other side (where it started thundering and all I could do was constantly exclaim "I'm STRESSED OUT!" to make myself feel better), endless traversing on snow and navigating through rock bands to 5 miles of trail back to the car. With all our bitching it did only take us 4.5 hours to reach the car from the col but we were also practically running, fueled by anger at Doug. At least DD is pretty, if you're into that sort of thing. Thanks to Brad and Jeremy for the awesome alpine twofer adventure!! Gear Notes: JBurg: set of doubles for longer raps. There is nowhere for ice screws in the couloir so leave those at home. Leave crampons and ice axe at base of east ridge. Rap stations are plentiful. Cascade Peak: doubles, 7 nuts, mank for rap stations, 1 crazy ass ropegun Approach Notes: None! Approaches are for suckers!!
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